Moka Only - Summer 2002 Vol. 2
Well this was a surprise. Moka has once again dug into his vast unreleased vaults and is poised to send us all back twenty years to the summer of 2002 with a two volume smorgasbord of pure new millennium flavor. I was fortunate to be present for some of his mixing of this two part project and witnessed Moka transferring audio sessions from adat tapes to his digital multitrack and then scrupulously tweaking and finalizing these treats until they sounded as if they were recorded just yesterday as well as excavating gemstones and jewels from old reference mix cassette tapes. What a time warp! These tracks ooze with innocent optimism and easy vibes as well as a touch of salacious playfulness that’s sorely missing from most of the rapmosphere in this day and age. The tracks from summer 2002 volume one and two are peppered with chordal zest and that certain magic that only Moka can conjure and poot forth. Some of standouts of volume one include ‘ hello everybody ‘ which feels like such a warm welcome back to this halcyon period in his body of work and the snaps and claps of ‘don’t eff around’ exhibit a carefree playfulness that easily sets up the mood for him to intro his rap with such simple, fun nonsense as “let’s get this rappin happenin’, clickin’ and snappenin’, snap it in half then laugh. Haha, I’m bout to take a bath. On the subject of content, fuck you, you crab”. Yes.. as I stated, only Moka. (Insert laugh-tears emoji here). But this is what we’ve come to love and demand from him, nowadays more than ever. We hope he can return to this sort of happy playfulness of his early 2000s era on future releases. Until then we should be grateful to be privy to this particular unearthing. When I asked Moka why he waited twenty years to release this double set he simply shrugged and said “they wasn’t ready”. I didn’t press the issue any more than that. I wondered afterwards though if he meant that the tracks weren’t ready(though Moka has not altered or added to the recordings in any way) or was it US that weren’t ready for this material, in which case seems a little cocksure to blurt out but Moka has never seemed to be the type to filter himself much so we will just leave it to our imaginations. That’s fine . On volume one the final few tracks seem to veer into more introspective fare, some of which feels bittersweetly heart-wrenching. And THAT seems to be a foreshadowing of his work from the 2010s to current day. He states in the track ‘on my way’ “what I do? Man, I drift on by and it’s gone by and homies get different agendas… it’s alright . I make my little sway to the mile, lay on a road with the moon and talk wild’. This sounds like the ‘lonesome sentinel’ character of his that we’ve grown accustomed to over the past few years and as he says “it’s alright”. volume two takes more of a reverse format starting introspective with tracks like ‘Do with myself’ and ‘love comes throo-og version’ and the mood lightens considerably toward the conclusion with songs like ‘sexual situations’ and ‘all I ever think of’ where we hear lines like “you remind me (of) when I met my ex, 1992 bumpin DasEfx, wasn’t about sex but this is,miss so if you with it let it flow and if not then ima have to let it go”. All song topics,concepts and vibes aside much of Volume two has a dirtier sonic quality to in, due in part to several of the tracks being procured from old cassette tape mixes rather than strictly new ADAT transfer mixes. In short I truly feel we’ve got a double whammy of a time capsule hit on our hands that we should all be so attentive to and raise it up from these underground depths so a new generation of ears can appreciate the love injected into these curations, as it should be. —— Shuggie Footsmith, Yakima Jazz Gazette.